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The Tear , Lk19:28-44 

Images of Lent #6 

♦Intro: Mel Gibson’s blockbuster film The Passion is the said to be the 
most seen R-rated film (due to the crucifixion) of all time, largely due to the 
mass of Christians who made the film successful by their interest in the 
main character. (It’s one of the few R-rated films Christians might make an 
exception for, though I wouldn’t recommend children seeing the film.) 
♦There is a creatively artistic scene in the story, where we are looking 
down on Mt. Calvary observing Jesus on the cross. It is as if we are 
viewing through God’s eyes. Then slowly, the edges of the screen blur and 
seem to pull into the center and a drop of water appears in the center of the 
screen and falls down toward the crucifixion scene below. We realize then 
that it is raining, or so it seems. But from above, from the perspective on 
high we feel as though we are crying, or God is crying, (show opening clip 
of The Passion, chapter 30) 

♦ Our text is about the tears of God. Jesus, God’s son, shed them over 
the people of Jerusalem as he entered the city the final week of his life. He 
shed them on Palm Sunday as he neared a road he would later stagger 
down on the way to being crucified, the Via Delarosa, or the Way of 
Sorrows. 

♦700 years earlier the prophet Isaiah called the coming Messiah a 
“man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (lit. passion).” What was 

he to be so sad about? Let’s look... 

+ Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, .... (Isaiah 
53:4, NIV). 

♦What are our sorrows he’s carrying? He’s talking about all the 
misery and death that comes as a result of our sinning. He’s talking 


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about the separation between God’s blessing and us that results from 
our choices to follow the dark side. Sin is where our sorrows come 
from. 

+But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our 
iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his 
wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NIV). 

♦He’s talking about the weight you and I feel for the wrong that we 

do. That is, Jesus’ death was about undoing the things that cause 
our tears of regret . 

♦1. If I have no tears of regret, I will never appreciate the tears of God. 

♦A. Let me explain. Regret is a form of sorrow. In French, for example, to 
say you are sorry, you say, “Je regret”, or “I am sorry” (that’s one of the few 
things I remember from 3 years of high school French class.) Most of the 
time we have tears of regret over things that could have been better... 

♦“If only...” 

♦If only I didn’t hurt so&so’s feelings. 

♦If only I had been there when I was supposed to, then maybe...” 

♦If only we could turn back the clock and undo what we did. 

♦Now, it is true that some folks appear to have no regrets, but that is often 
either because 1 ) they feel very little depth of love or care for other people, 
and so have very little compassion (“suffering with”) -for anyone who truly 
loves another regrets it when they hurt the other person, or 2) they are simply 
ignorant of their wrong doing. 

♦Think of a husband who teases his wife in public about being a little 
chubby because he wants to appear funny among his friends. In 
reality to him she may appear stunning. He just wants to be funny. 


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Images of Lent #6 

(It’s odd how men do or say incongruent things.) But she may have 
always hated her hips, so his joking pinches. Still, he is unaware, 
and so has no regrets, until he gets home and is made aware of his 
folly. 

♦So you see, there is no sorrow of regret without a knowledge of 
wrong. So then, say, her forgiveness of her husband, means very 
little to him for he sees nothing needing forgiveness. 

♦B. Everything we have to say in Lent and Easter about Jesus and his 
death and his passion/suffering will mean next to nothing to anyone who 
has no tears about their sins, failures, and tragedies. 

♦If you’ve done everything right as a parent, and all your kids are 
stellar, well-adjusted, non-marijuana smoking contributors to society... 
♦If every dark exploit behind closed doors appears to you to be a 
healthy, natural, and private alternative life-style... 

♦If you have lived nothing you wouldn’t happily describe in detail to 
your mother, the world, or say, in front of you church family... 

♦If you’ve always obeyed the law at every turn... 

♦Always remembered every special occasion appropriately for those 
you love and care about... 

♦Never brought sadness to the face of any of these... 

♦Never felt the nagging notion that something in your life just 
shouldn’t be the way it is... 

♦...then... 

♦Then you are not going to get much out of hearing about God’s tears 
today. The only people for which the Good News of Jesus the Messiah is 


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good news are those who are disturbed that all is not right in themselves 

and the world . 

^However, I think there are a few at least who could find hope in the tears I 
want to tell you about because the Bible says this... 

+0n/y fools say in their hearts, “There is no God. ” They are corrupt, and their 
actions are evil; no one does good! God looks down from heaven on the entire 
human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one 
who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become 
corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” Psalms 53:1-3, NLT. 

♦2. Jesus’ tears tell me something is wrong with who we are. 

♦A. Did you know that the reason Jesus cries over Jerusalem in our 
passage is the very fact that they are not disturbed ? They were 
celebrating. They were shouting Hosanna, which means “save us”, as 
though Jesus was going to be another rebel leader like Judas Maccabee 
who rode into Jerusalem on a white steed and rededicated the temple in 
around 167 BC having overthrown their Seleucid captors. (The festival 
Hanukkah celebrates this event.) There were dozens of other rebel leaders 
in years to follow who similarly rode into Jerusalem to fight the Greeks, or 
the Romans who occupied their land. 

'♦'Verse 38 is actually a psalm the Jews used for when the King would 
approach the temple. 

♦So you see what’s going on? These people are tickled pink and 
rejoicing. This is their ticker-tape parade. Everyone is happy except 
the man in the convertible in the parade. God’s Son is crying 
because they don’t get the real state of affairs: Jesus did not come 


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as a rebel military leader, but as a spiritual savior to counter the sin in 
mankind that leads to all rebellion. 

♦B. When God displays his power it ought to naturally lead me to consider 

mv need in comparison . 

^Jesus’ miracle working was not supposed to excite their democratic 
convention! It was supposed to grip them with the fact that God was 
near which calls for tears of repentance! 

♦ ”Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that 
were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would 
have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. (Luke 10:13, NIV). 
'♦'When Isaiah met God his response was, “Woe is me, I am a man of 
unclean lips!” (Isa. 6) 

'♦'When Peter met God his response was, “Back away Jesus, for I am 
a sinful man.” (Luke 5) 

'♦'Why is it that we don’t think in these terms any longer? We, like 
Jerusalem, have become preoccupied and therefore morally unconscious. 
♦v38b is what the angels sang at Jesus birth when they announced 
that a savior had been born who would “save his people from their 
sins”, not from the Greeks, or the Romans. 

♦v42 Jerusalem, the “city of peace” did not know real peace. They 
were so busy with commerce, and economy, and jobs, and 
government forced healthcare. 

+C. Do you see yourself in the people of Palm Sunday? Does the 
goodness of God spur you to pridefully want more? Or does it move you to 
repentance? 


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♦ It is clear that God has blessed our nation. But America is rejoicing 
in sexual freedom. Lets redefine marriage so that two girls can be 
dad and mom. Lets make and watch TV shows where two men can 
be a supposedly healthy dad and mom without repercussions on 
society. Give us Viagra and Cialis so we can have 4 hour excitement. 
Give us a government that will make our employers pay us more, 
insure our health for us, and give us money to abort our children. 

Give us new leaders who will stop kindergarteners from praying, and 
teach Islam but not Christianity. 

♦Or, give us new leaders who will create more jobs, and who will 
reduce inflation, and who will balance the budget. Hosanna, save us 
from the failure of our companies to make as many billions as we did 
last year, so we don’t have to post a fall in sales and therefore lose 
stock value! 

♦We clap for the wrong things! When was the last time we spread out our 
coats for a candidate who pledged to restore morality, to make the courts 
prosecute pornographers or child-trafficking virtually none of which 
happens in our nation? Or to push the FCC to raise standards of decency 
on the air? Or to get rid of attorney generals who openly declare they will 
not enforce the law? 

♦We have school shooting so we live in a lockdown society and ban 
guns. But we don’t let kids pray, or tell them there are 
commandments they should follow. I know people who as 
elementary children took their guns to school so they could hunt on 
the way home! Nobody got shot in school back then. But they did 


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pray to God. And they did teach that nobody should have sex except 
a husband and his wife! We clap for the wrong things! 

'♦'Curiously, huge numbers of us are diagnosed with ADD or 
depression. Im not getting down on these. I’ve had depression. But 
could it be that our lifestyle, our absence, or workaholism, or our 
materialism make us more prone to these? Might we have chosen 
poorly in some ways? 

♦ Jesus’ tears are a call to evaluate the state of mv soul , not the economy. 
And then to come to God in repentance. They are a call to repentance . 

♦3. Jesus tears also tell me I have hope. 

♦A. God cries over my messed up life! That means God cares about my 
messed up life! Understand that Jesus cried over our lostness that in turn 
causes our own tears. Jesus cried over our sin! I think it is significant that 
Jesus did not shout and lecture from the Via Delarosa. It was not the 
wrath of God he came to give us. It was the wrath of God he came to take! 

(John 3:17) 

♦Tell me, then, what does that say about his view of you, of me, of 
Jerusalem? 

♦He did not come as a professor to lecture us. 

♦He did not come as a judge to condemn us. 

♦He did not come as a warrior to destroy us. 

♦He came as a savior 

♦He did not come to recommend we all get along. 

♦He did not come to run the nation of Israel better and defeat the 
Romans. 


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♦He came as a savior, to defeat the problem inside both Jews and 
Romans. 

♦Jesus’ passion (suffering) reveals the depth of his passion (love; 
interesting that the same term means both). 

♦This is what God wants for you. God wants vour good future . 

♦The only other record we have of Jesus crying is in John 11 at the 
tomb of his friend Lazarus We have there another proof of the 
tenderness of Jesus’ character in the hurt he feels at the death of his 
friend. The same man wept over Jerusalem in the same way. 

♦v42: Do you hear the mourning in his prediction that Jerusalem 
would come to an end because they clapped for the wrong things? 
And what he said came true too, in the year 70 AD when the Romans 
flattened Jerusalem. But don’t think for a minute that Jesus is 
delighting in this prediction. He is mourning this prediction. 

♦B. And in this lies hope. The opposite is also true. Had The City of Peace 
recognized when God came to her, called to her their destruction could 
have been prevented. And so it is with us too. 

♦God wants to give us mercy, but repentance and returning is the 

requirement. 

♦Conclusion: 

♦Something has gone terribly wrong with the world. And God has come to 
put it right again. Our Heavenly Father, the father that he is, is not satisfied 

until our lives are as they ought to be. 

♦He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or 
mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. ” He who 


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was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 

21:4,5, NIV). 

♦That's where its all pointing, people. That is our hope! But as I think CS 
Lewis put it, “illusions of our cleanliness must not be permitted.” We are 
not a nation without fault and sinfulness. You and I are not people without 
stain or immorality. Jesus’ tears mean there is a better way and he longs 
for us to have it. Be ever choosing the better way. 

♦“So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be 
doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just 
opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are 
opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting 
each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed 
by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. When you follow the desires of 
your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure 
thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, 
hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling 
that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild 
parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living 
that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our 
lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, 
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the 
law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their 
sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, 
let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:16-25, NLT. 


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